First Steps Grant Program Deadline Fast Approaching

First Steps Grant Program Deadline Fast Approaching

news release

April 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
Diane G. Papadakos, Director of Communications
City of West Palm Beach – Mayor’s Office
[email protected]
561-822-1411 (TTY: 800-955-8771)

Deadline Approaches for Businesses to Take Advantage of West Palm Beach’s New Grant Program
Qualified businesses have until April 28, 2023, to apply for enterprise-building funds

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – The deadline for certified, small-, minority-, and women-owned businesses to apply for the City of West Palm Beach’s new $500,000 funding initiative, First Steps: Small Business and Minority / Women Business Enterprise Grant Programs is April 28, 2023.

Since the program’s official launch on April 7, approximately 58 applications have been received by the Mayor’s Office of Small and Minority/Woman Business Programs (OSMWBP). The funding is designed to create pathways for growth in the City’s small business community, as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and manage current economic headwinds.

“We’re extremely pleased with the initial response, and we are confident that by the end of the application period, the City will have proof of a successful grant program, which met a critical need in the business community,” said  OSMWBP Director Frank Hayden. Recognizing the ongoing challenges affecting small businesses, including inflation, supply chain issues, and staffing shortages, City officials wanted to provide support to owners who may not be able to take on debt to recover or grow their businesses.

Grant opportunities are offered in four areas critical to small business success, which include marketing, inventory/equipment, property improvement, and new business development. Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000. Businesses may apply for funding in one area, only, and each grant requires specific information and documentation. Funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to applicants’ eligibility as City-certified Small Businesses (SBE) and Minority/Woman Business Enterprises (M/WBE). 

Most grant applications submitted, to date, have been for inventory/equipment. Following the launch, the City has fielded several questions about eligibility and how the grant monies can be used. Here is a link to the frequently asked questions

GRANT APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS:

In addition to SBE and/or M/WBE certification, a business must meet the following qualifications at a minimum to be eligible for First Steps. Businesses must be:

  • Located in the City of West Palm Beach (within City limits);
  • A for-profit organization registered to do business with the State of Florida Division of Corporations;
  • Free of any City lien encumbrances and code violations; and
  • Current on property taxes if the business owner is the property owner.

More details about First Steps are available at www.wpb.org/firststeps. The City invites other small business owners to learn about the benefits of becoming a certified small and minority/woman business by visiting www.wpb.org/equalopportunity.

For more information regarding this grant, please contact Sandra Hammerstein, Small & Minority Woman Business Programs Compliance Officer at (561) 822-1273 (TTY: 866-336-8435) or email [email protected].

About the City of West Palm Beach:

The City of West Palm Beach is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida. With a rich history, a thriving arts and cultural scene, and a commitment to sustainability, the City of West Palm Beach is a great place to live, work, and play. As one of the three largest cities making up the South Florida region, and the central city of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach is a vibrant, growing, waterfront city that offers the business advantages available in the region, combined with a more refined and relaxed environment for living and working. To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, visit us on our official website, or follow us on our social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Linked-in.

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Originally published at https://www.wpb.org/Home/Components/News/News/3352/772

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